Tuesday, 29 December 2020

Brackenhurst - Monday 28 December

Another socially-distant session for Jim, Tom and me at the feeders on a cold, still and rather misty morning. The catch was dominated by retrap Blue and Great Tits once again, though seven Blackbirds was high for the site and a suggestion of immigration. 

We handled 42 birds (12 new / 30 retraps) as follows: Blackbird (7/0), Blue Tit (2/10), Dunnock (1/4), Great Tit (0/12), Redwing (2/0), Robin (0/4).

As on the previous visit, the majority of the retraps were from this and last winter. Exceptions were Blue and Great Tits from the winter of 2016/17, a Dunnock from 2017/18 and another Great Tit from 18/19.

Yellowhammers were notable by their absence and the only other records of note were three Woodcock flushed from the bottom of Orwin's and some Pink-footed Geese calling up above the clouds. 


Sunday, 27 December 2020

Humphrey Dobinson

It is with great sadness that we learnt of the death of the group's founder, Humphrey Dobinson. He died peacefully at his home in Norway on 21 December, just about making it to the group's 50th anniversary.

Several members visited him at home in 2018 (see pic below) and the trip was blogged about here: https://southnottsringinggroup.blogspot.com/2018/06/snrg-in-norway.html


Wednesday, 23 December 2020

Recent recoveries

Tom has been out reading colour rings again, and TMW5, the Polish Black-headed Gull (ringed in Feb 2019 in Gdansk) is back for the winter at Trent Bridge again, last seen on the 20/12. A new Norwegian bird has also been seen (JMH5), ringed in Oslo in 2019, this bird was seen in November and was still at Trent Bridge on 20/12. Dutch E5NK, first seen by Tom at Stoke Bardolph in 2017 is also back at the usual spot surviving on a diet of bread. This bird was ringed in Zoetermeer in 2011.

A Reed Warbler caught at Holme Pierrepont in July this year was caught a few weeks later on 18th August at Rutland Water.

The Lesser Redpoll recoveries keep pouring in, with Mick’s site in Bestwood proving somewhat of a hotspot for this species. It will be interesting to see how the influx continues throughout the winter, as so far all recoveries have been within the UK. Perhaps some may get picked up overseas? And as natural food resources run low, will birds seek out gardens as a food source, in which case birds may begin to be recovered in ringers gardens? (Wishful thinking?)

The most recent Redpoll recoveries are as follows:

A bird ringed at Bestwood on 8 Oct was caught at Thorpe Marsh (S.Yorks) on 7 Nov, and a bird ringed at Thorpe Marsh on 2 Oct was caught at Bestwood on 20 Nov.

A bird ringed at Thornton (Leics) on 7 Nov was caught at Bestwood on 2 Dec. On the same date birds were caught that had been ringed at Brockholes NR (Lancs) and RSPB Geltsdale (Cumbria).

Finally, on 15 Dec, a bird was caught that had been ringed at Anglers CP in Wakefield (S Yorks).


Wednesday, 16 December 2020

Brackenhurst - Saturday 12 December

It was a damp, grey morning during which Jim, Christian and I felt as if we were sitting in the clouds for much of the time. Fortunately, it was still and the dampness rarely enough to stop us netting. 

The catching was steady and dominated by retrap tits. As has become the norm, a good number of Chaffinches were caught, but released due to the widespread Fringilla papillomavirus. Thrushes were regular overhead, but only a few could be lured down to the vicinity of the nets.

A total of 51 birds were processed (14 new / 37 retrap), comprising: Blackbird (2/0), Blue Tit (2/19), Bullfinch (1/0), Chaffinch (0/1), Coal Tit (0/2), Dunnock (0/1), Great Tit (2/10), House Sparrow (3/0), Redwing (3/0), Robin (0/2), Wren (1/0), Yellowhammer (0/2). 

The majority of retraps were from the last two winters. The exceptions being Blue Tit, Great Tit and Yellowhammer from winter 17/18, and a Robin from 14/15.


Tuesday, 8 December 2020

Pykett's Farm, nr Newark - 5 & 6 December

Jim, Christian and I visited Pykett's Farm over the weekend. On Saturday night we set up two lines of nets ready for the morning and put up an owl net. We also had a go at using the thermal imaging camera, finding a surprising number of small passerines at roost, along with larger birds like Pheasants and Moorhens and several rodents crawling around feeding on haws and other berries. We caught a single Barn Owl and watched another pair of Barn Owls through the camera circling high above us.

In the morning we trapped half a dozen Redwings and a tit flock, including a Great Tit ringed in January 2018 by Liz and Geoff on the neighbouring Devon Farm.

Towards the end of the morning a flock of about 300 Pink-footed Geese flew over heading west. 

In total we processed 29 birds, comprising (new/retrap): Barn Owl (1/0), Redwing (6/0), Blackbird (1/0), Robin (1/1), Goldcrest (2/0), Long-tailed Tit (11/0), Great Tit (2/2), Blue Tit (1/1).


Tail & wing of a young Redwing showing a very striking fault bar and a moult limit in the greater coverts. (P. Leonard)

Monday, 30 November 2020

Brackenhurst - Sunday 29 November

Emboldened by last week's visit to the Brack feeders, Tom and I returned to them on Sunday. Conditions were good i.e. weather calm, overcast and mainly dry. However, it felt damp and the cloud was low, and in such ‘dreich’ conditions there seems to be less movement, and with the exception of tit species, this proved to be the case. Tits accounted for two thirds of the 72 birds handled over the morning.

A few points of note:
  • Blue & Great Tit – 4 in 5 had either been ringed the previous week or last winter. Often new unringed birds are mainly juveniles, but this winter we are getting a lot of new adult birds at the site.
  • Great Spotted Woodpecker – we’ve not had any for nearly three years, so to catch two ‘new pairs’ is exceptional here.
  • Long-tailed Tit – three of birds were ringed at the same time nearly a year ago. Only one was from the previous week’s volery.

Handling totals by species were 72 (25 new / 47 retraps): Blue Tit (7/26), Coal Tit (0/2), Dunnock (1/3), Goldfinch (1/0), Great Spotted Woodpecker (4/0), Great Tit (2/11), Long-tailed Tit (1/5), Redwing (4/0), Robin (3/0), Goldcrest (2/0).


Great Spotted Woodpeckers, male (l) and female (r), Brackenhurst, 29 Nov 2020 (J. Lennon)


Thursday, 26 November 2020

Brackenhurst - Monday 23 November

So it was Brack Wars, Season 13, Episode 1. In other words, Kev and I making the first visit to NTU’s farmland bird winter supplementary feeding site at the Brackenhurst Campus yesterday. These visits are often an early indication of how some of our resident breeding bird species have done in the last year. Normally we’d expect to handle 50/60 birds at this time, but totalled 123.

With the exception of the ‘yammers we had good numbers of most species. Some key results:

Greenfinch – 11 new birds was a major and pleasant surprise. Previously, since 2008, we have only ringed seven Greenfinches here, and none since 2014. Is it possible they’re coming back from their trichomonosis driven decline in the noughties? 

Lesser Redpoll – a new species for us here.

Blue & Great Tit – at 58 processed, probably the most in a single session here at Brack. The adult/juvvie ratio can be an indicator of how successful the preceding breeding season has been? The 33 Blue Tits were split 12 adults / 21 juvvies and Great Tit 16/9. It suggests that perhaps Blue Tits were more productive than Great Tits this year.

Coal Tit we only have getting these regularly over last three years.

Previously ringed birds (retraps) – other than birds from last winter. The oldest birds were Great Tit (2013), Blue Tit (2017) & Robin (2014).

Handling totals by species were 123 (106 new / 17 retraps): Blackbird (1/0), Blue Tit (27/6), Chaffinch (10/0), Coal Tit (1/1), Dunnock (6/0), Goldfinch (1/0), Great Tit (18/7), Greenfinch (11/0), House Sparrow (8/0), Lesser Redpoll (1/0), Long-tailed Tit (12/1), Redwing (7/0), Robin (1/2), Treecreeper (1/0), Wren (1/0).


Sunday, 8 November 2020

Recent Recoveries

Details of a couple more Black-headed Gulls from the 1st winter period have come through, both seen at Trent Bridge. One (7JJ), had been ringed as an adult in Copenhagen in 2016. Another (VM37), seen several times at Trent Bridge, was ringed in Frederikshaven in Denmark in 2013 as a chick.

An interesting Coal Tit, caught and aged as a 1st winter bird at the end of September at Holme Pierrepont, had been ringed on the coast at Filey Bird Observatory only 2 weeks previously.

Some members of the group have been very busy ringing Lesser Redpolls, and typically, with these have come some recoveries. During operations at Holme Pierrepont, birds were caught that had recently been ringed at Marston (Lincs), Clumber, Wakefield and Hatfield Moor (59km in 1 day!). Also, birds ringed at Holme Pierrepont have been recorded at Sandwich Bay (Kent) and Keyhaven Marsh (Hants).

A Long-tailed Tit, originally ringed by Alex in Mapperley Wood, in 2018, has been captured near Sheffield by Sorby Breck ringers (in between catching Wrynecks and Red-flanked Bluetails!). This is a most unusual movement of 41km for a usually quite sedentary species.

A couple of warbler recoveries to end on, with a Chiffchaff ringed at Bestwood in September, was caught 11 days later at Hayling Golf Course in Hampshire, and a Blackcap from Holme Pierrepont, also ringed in September, was found dead after hitting a window in Folkingham, near Sleaford on 13 October.



Sunday, 1 November 2020

October Ringing Sessions

Skylarks end of Holme Pierrepont - Tuesday 6 October

The weather was calm with very little breeze. We had a team out consisting of just Gary, Duncan and myself. This autumn's major Lesser Redpoll influx continued, as it is doing over much of the UK, and they dominated the catch today. A few remaining Chiffchaffs and Blackcaps and a late Reed Warbler were also caught along with the first Redwing of the autumn. We finished with a catch of 96 and no retraps made up of: Redwing 1, Song Thrush 1, Blackbird 2, Chiffchaff 2, Blackcap 3, Reed Warbler 1, Goldcrest 2, Long-tailed Tit 1, Goldfinch 1, Lesser Redpoll 79, Reed Bunting 4.


Skylarks end of Holme Pierrepont - Sunday 11 October

The weather was calm and bright with sunny spells. The team was Duncan and me and again Lesser Redpoll dominated the catch. We finished with a total catch of 76 including 4 retraps made up of (new/retrap): Robin 2/1, Wren 1/1, Chiffchaff 3/0, Blackcap 3/0, Cetti’s Warbler 2/0, Blue Tit 1/1, Goldfinch 1/0, Lesser Redpoll 58/0, Chaffinch 1/0, Reed Bunting 0/1. The oldest retrap was a Reed Bunting from 2019. Still a few Chiffchaffs and Blackcaps hanging on.


Skylarks end of Holme Pierrepont - Friday 16 October
The weather was calm and generally overcast with occasional drizzle. The catching rate was thankfully steady as we had a wary eye on the weather throughout the morning. We had a team out consisting of Gary and myself and finished with a catch of 78 including 6 retraps (including 2 controls) made up of (new/retrap): Redwing 13/0, Robin 0/1, Chiffchaff 3/0, Cetti’s Warbler 1/0, Goldcrest 0/2, Great Tit 2/0, Lesser Redpoll 50/3, Bullfinch 2/0, Reed Bunting 1/0. The retraps were all this years birds. Of the migrant warblers just Chiffchaffs appear to remain, first session of the year here without catching a Blackcap.

Ramsdale Park Golf Centre - Sunday 18 October

The weather was very calm, dry and overcast, perfect netting conditions for our first autumn session for Redwing. We had a team out consisting of Gary, Duncan and myself and we got the nets up just before first light. There seemed to be many thrushes roosting so we were expecting a bigger catch than we actually made, maybe they just dispersed at first light, despite our efforts with MP3s. We also had an MP3 playing Lesser Redpoll and made a small catch. We finished with a total catch of 79 including 8 retraps, made up of (new/retrap): Sparrowhawk 1/0, Redwing 31/0, Blackbird 4/0, Wren 4/0, Robin 2/2, Goldcrest 4/0, Blue Tit 3/2, Great Tit 0/1, Long-tailed Tit 3/3, Lesser Redpoll 18/0, Bullfinch 1/0. The oldest retraps were from 2019. There were a few Fieldfares about but none came low enough to go in a net.


Skylarks end of Holme Pierrepont - Friday 23 October

All four weather forecasts I looked at the previous evening got this wrong, supposedly dry until mid/late morning they said. So why was it raining when I left home at 06:15? They did get the light winds correct but the morning was spent opening and closing the nets between the frequent rain showers. However, it appears the redpolls have more or less all moved out with only four attracted to the mp3s playing, but one was another control. We had a team out consisting of Gary, Duncan and myself and finished with a catch of just 13 including 3 retraps (including 1 control) made up of (new/retrap): Redwing 3/0, Wren 0/1, Goldcrest 2/1, Lesser Redpoll 3/1, Reed Bunting 2/0. The retraps were all this year's birds. This I think will tie up activities at the site as the redpoll have gone. Still they provided us with an extra month's activity at the site compared to other years.


Sparrowhawk, Ramsdale Park, 18-10-20 (G. Goddard)



Sunday, 4 October 2020

Late September sessions

Skylarks end of Holme Pierrepont - Monday 21 September

The weather was calm with very little breeze but with clear skies. The catching rate was ok to start but soon dropped as the sun got higher. It was just Gary and me and we and finished with a catch of 43 including 7 retraps made up of (new/retrap): Robin 3/2, Dunnock 3/0, Chiffchaff 8/1, Blackcap 16/0, Reed Warbler 1/1, Cetti’s Warbler 0/2, Blue Tit 3/0, Lesser Redpoll 1/0, Bullfinch 0/1, Reed Bunting 1/0. The oldest retrap was a Bullfinch from 2018. A much reduced, but not surprising, catch of warblers as we head further into autumn.

Skylarks end of Holme Pierrepont - Monday 28 September

The weather was calm and bright with sunny spells. The team was Gary, Duncan and me. Catching rate of warblers was quite slow as you would expect at this time of year and at this site, but then we found 10 Lesser Redpoll in the nets and decided at about 0900 to switch one of the MP3 players from warbler calls to Lesser Redpoll. This resulted in another 75 Lesser Redpoll being caught, including one ringed 6 days earlier in Yorkshire and a Siskin. We finished with a total catch of 120 including 6 retraps made up of (new/retrap): Robin 0/2, Dunnock 2/0, Wren 2/0, Chiffchaff 7/2, Blackcap 10/0, Reed Warbler 1/0, Coal Tit 0/1, Blue Tit 2/0, Great Tit 2/0, Lesser Redpoll 84/1, Siskin 1/0, Bullfinch 1/0, Chaffinch 1/0, Reed Bunting 1/0. The oldest retrap was a Robin from 2019. The Coal Tit is very interesting as we have not caught one at this site before, or at least since records were computerised in 1996, so to catch one with a ring on was a surprise. Even more intriguing was the fact that it was wearing a ring from an old sequence of A rings and no data has yet been submitted to the BTO for this ring – and it was a bird of the year with 3 old greater coverts (the ring and age confirmed by both Gary and me). We await a report from the BTO once they have chased up the ringer for the ringing details. I mentioned the catch of Lesser Redpoll to Mick P as he was going out to his site at Bestwood the next day. He said he would take his Lesser Redpoll sound lure and subsequently caught 53 and had to switch his player off a couple of times to keep numbers manageable. We thought this would be our last visit of the year here and we did bring back all the poles and guys, but if we get a suitably calm day in the coming days we may venture back with a couple of nets and MP3 players to see if the Lesser Redpolls are still around!

We have been restricted to the Skylarks end of Holme Pierrepont all summer because the car park at the rowing centre that we use to access the Grange end has been either shut during lockdown or opened too late in the morning. It struck me that some of our warbler numbers seemed high and some low this year so I looked on Demon at catches of new birds in the same period over the last three years just at the Skylarks end. Roughly the same number of visits each year, not exactly the same - but not different enough to make some of the significant changes shown below.

The good:
Chiffchaff - 522% increase on 2018 – 213% increase on 2019.
Willow Warbler - 36% increase on 2018 – 44% increase on 2019.

The bad:
Garden Warbler – 35% decrease on 2018 – 31% increase on 2019.

and the ugly:
Lesser Whitethroat – 41% decrease on 2018 in both 2019 and 2020.
Sedge Warbler - 82% decrease on 2018 – 77% decrease on 2019.

Blackcap, Whitethroat and Reed Warbler numbers were similar each year.


Redpoll & Siskin (K. Hemsley)

Sunday, 20 September 2020

Early September ringing sessions

Skylarks end of Holme Pierrepont, Wednesday 2 September

The weather was good with very little breeze and the catching rate was brisk to start but slowed down from mid-morning. It was just Gary and myself and we finished with a catch of 103 including 6 retraps made up of (new/retrap): Blackbird 1/0, Robin 2/2, Dunnock 1/0, Wren 2/0, Willow Warbler 6/0, Chiffchaff 23/0, Blackcap 36/0, Garden Warbler 1/0, Reed Warbler 13/0, Cetti’s Warbler 1/1, Goldcrest 2/0, Blue Tit 2/1, Great Tit 5/0, Long-tailed Tit 0/1, Greenfinch 1/0, Reed Bunting 1/1. The retraps were all recent birds. It was nice to catch another juvenile Cetti’s and and retrap adult from early June. The bulk of the warblers have now passed through other than Chiffchaff, Blackcap and Reed Warblers.

Skylarks end of Holme Pierrepont, Sunday 6 September

The weather was bright with sunny spells and a generally light breeze and catching was steady throughout. The team was Gary, Duncan and me and we finished with a catch of 84 including 8 retraps made up of (new/retrap): Blackbird 0/1, Song Thrush 1/0, Robin 1/1, Dunnock 1/0, Willow Warbler 2/0, Chiffchaff 21/1, Blackcap 25/0, Whitethroat 1/0, Lesser Whitethroat 1/0, Reed Warbler 10/2, Sedge Warbler 1/0, Goldcrest 1/1, Treecreeper 1/0, Blue Tit 3/0, Great Tit 1/0, Long-tailed Tit 1/1, Bullfinch 2/1, Goldfinch 1/0, Greenfinch 1/0, Reed Bunting 1/0. The retraps were all recent birds. The Sedge Warbler was only the third individual caught this year, the worst total ever that I can remember.

Skylarks end of Holme Pierrepont, Thursday 10 September

The weather was calm with variable cloud cover and the odd sunny break and catching was steady throughout. The team was Gary, Duncan and me and we finished with a catch of 108 including 22 retraps made up of (new/retrap): Robin 1/1, Dunnock 2/0, Wren 2/1, Willow Warbler 0/1, Chiffchaff 15/5, Blackcap 38/4, Whitethroat 2/0, Lesser Whitethroat 0/1, Reed Warbler 11/1, Cetti’s Warbler 2/1, Goldcrest 1/2, Blue Tit 3/1, Great Tit 2/0, Long-tailed Tit 3/3, Lesser Redpoll 1/0, Greenfinch 1/0, Chaffinch 1/1, Reed Bunting 1/0. The oldest retrap was a Blue Tit from 2019. The Lesser Redpoll was the earliest record in September in at least 25 years.

Ramsdale, Tuesday 15 September

Duncan, Mick P, Gary and me today. The weather was dead calm all morning but with full sun all the time and the temperature rapidly rising to the mid-twenties, resulting in a fairly low catch with limited species. However a Spotted Flycatcher was nice first thing and also a Sparrowhawk later in the morning. We put up the new line of nets and four of the old line and finished with a catch of 49 including 11 retraps, made up of (new/retrap): Sparrowhawk 1/0, Blackbird 4/1, Wren 3/0, Robin 2/1, Dunnock 1/0, Blackcap 12/1, Whitethroat 1/0, Chiffchaff 17/0, Spotted Flycatcher 1/0, Blue Tit 1/0, Bullfinch 3/0. The retraps were all recent birds.

Skylarks end of Holme Pierrepont, Wednesday 16 September

The weather was calm with variable cloud cover to start but thick cloud and a brisk breeze picked up by 09:00 slowing things down. The team was Gary, Duncan and me and we finished with a catch of 66 including 11 retraps made up of (new/retrap): Song Thrush 1/0 Robin 2/1, Dunnock 6/0, Willow Warbler 1/0, Chiffchaff 9/1, Blackcap 15/0, Reed Warbler 9/1, Cetti’s Warbler 1/0, Goldcrest 1/0, Blue Tit 0/1, Great Tit 2/2, Long-tailed Tit 7/4, Greenfinch 0/1, Reed Bunting 1/0. The Long-tailed Tits were caught as a few singles plus a flock of 7, the biggest flock caught this year since May! The oldest retrap was a Great Tit from 2017, we also retrapped a Greenfinch ringed earlier this year across the river by Tom in his garden. The warblers are all moving south now and the later moving Reed Warblers, Blackcaps and Chiffchaffs were showing in much reduced numbers since last weeks visit.


Redpoll  at Holme Pierrepont, Spotted Flycatcher and Sparrowhawk at Ramsdale (K. Hemsley)

Saturday, 19 September 2020

Owl boxes

I decided to check a few boxes today, just in case any birds had decided to have another breeding attempt. Predictably, a couple of boxes held Stock Doves, but in both the chicks were dead perhaps suggesting their season hasn't been much better than the owls... 

The last box I checked had a pair of roosting adult Barn Owls and whilst it's impossible to prove if they were the ones that raised the single chick I ringed in the same box back in June, there's a good chance and it was satisfying because they had evaded capture on both previous visits this year. Both were old birds, and the male particularly so, being a bird I'd ringed nearby in May 2010 and not encountered again until today. He was a very white bird with a notably long wing of 311!


Recent(ish) recoveries – owls & kestrels

Deserving their own post, these species, and primarily Barn Owl, make up the largest proportion of our recoveries. We ring a lot of chicks and they often retrapped by ringers or they meet their end where they are readily found beside the road.

Most Barn Owl recoveries involve birds ringed as chicks which are found dead within a year or so, usually less than 20km from where they hatched. A few that do not fall into this category are detailed here.

Longer local recoveries received included birds found after 2yrs (1), 3 yrs (5), 4 yrs (2), 5yrs (2), 6yrs (3) and 9yrs.

Those moving further afield included two chicks from Lincs, one found a year later 29km from where it was ringed and another 36km away after 6 years. One of our chicks moved 22km into Lincs in 174 days and another chick moved 36km within Notts after 3 yrs. A chick from Leics had travelled 40km into Notts after 2 years and 1 chick ringed in Elston in July 2019 was found dead in Bedfordshire in May 2020, some 115km away.

A Tawny Owl chick ringed at Holme Pierrepont in May 2019 was found wounded by a railway in Clipstone 21km to the north in June 2020.

Of the three Kestrel recoveries received, one was local and another old - a chick ringed near Kinoulton in 2011 became a road casualty near Hoby, Leics over 9 years later. The third was also of interest – a chick ringed in June this year was found beside a Heathrow runway a couple of months after fledging having travelled 181km. The finder, Mark Pauline, takes up the story:

“I had come on shift at Heathrow airport at around 06:45 and was asked to carry out an inspection on our southern runway at about 06:50 as soon as I came on shift. We have a piece of equipment called a FOD radar which monitors are runway surface and detects objects that should not be present on the runway surface itself. This particular morning the radar had activated and it shows us an image of what it has detected and it happened to be your Kestrel to which I went onto the runway to retrieve. The bird was whole with a very minor injury and it looked to me as though the kestrel had been jet blasted from an aircraft which does happen if hovering near to the runway edge over the grass areas. For information we do have quite a population of kestrels on the airfield at the moment.”

Jim’s response was as follows:

“I've read up on juvenile kestrel dispersal, and late fledging females are more likely to disperse further afield, and this bird fits that scenario on both counts. This is often driven by poor food supply, and we have very few small mammals breeding this year after the extreme winter floods - in Nottinghamshire - and hence poor breeding from the owls and kestrels. Your photos indicate female. Even so, this movement of 181 km is way beyond the median of 50 km for chick dispersal in their first winter. One fears this will become less unusual with climatic events increasing.”

That catches us up with recoveries from over the past nine months or so.


 Kestrel recovered from Heathrow runway (Mark Pauline)

Friday, 18 September 2020

Recent(ish) recoveries – non-passerines

The group have received a number of recoveries of non-passerines throughout the year, fairly typical fare, but always interesting as we don’t tend to ring as many as we do songbirds. The plus side on this front, is that it is often easier to get recoveries of these birds as field observations are easier with bigger birds. Barn Owls make up the bulk of what we receive and these will be covered in a separate post.

A familiar sight in our inbox has been the Black-headed Gull, ringed as a chick at Attenborough in 2019, seen on numerous occasions by multiple observers at the Lough, in Cork. Many sightings were reported to us of this bird from January through to May. It may have then moved on to breed, but it will be interesting to see if it returns to winter at the same site again.

A Common Gull, colour ringed as a chick in Norway in 2016, spent the latter part of the winter at Trent Bridge, being seen by Tom in February, along with a couple of other observers.

Tom’s Trent Bridge gull outings usually come with a few Canada Geese thrown in, and there are still many residing there that have been ringed as part of the Nottingham University colour ringing project at their campus in Lenton. Recent sightings include a bird from 2010, and several from 2016-2018. Another was seen at Colwick park, ringed in 2018.

A couple of Swans ringed at Rushcliffe were seen at Attenborough in January. One ringed in 2015, the other in 2018.

The Attenborough Cormorant colony continues to provide decent recoveries. A bird ringed in 2018 has was seen in February on the River Stour in Essex. Another, ringed in 2016 was seen in August, roosting on the Clwyd in Rhyl. This bird is one of the most well travelled of the SNRG ringed cormorants, having been seen in Essex, Kent, The Wirral and Suffolk, and now Wales.


Monday, 14 September 2020

Colwick Garden Ringing, Sunday 13 September

I’ve been having semi-regular sessions in the garden since about July, after the usual summer hiatus when the garden goes a bit quiet and so I just let the birds get on with raising their young. Having new parental responsibilities of my own means that squeezing in the odd session here and there is very precious indeed.

Young tits, Greenfinches a few other bits and bobs made up the midsummer sessions, and since the end of August, Goldfinch have dominated once again, with the sunflower feeders going down at a rate of knots. Today I caught 26 new Goldfinches, mostly juveniles in various stages of moult. A few Chiffchaffs usually appear in September and I was lucky enough to have the nets up today when one piped up, which was quickly lured down, a ringing tick for the garden, contributing to a good total of 37 birds in a couple of hours.

Aside from numerous 3Js early in the season, the absence of young Blue and Great tits has been notable in the last few sessions. A quick look reveals that I have caught 35 BLUTI so far this year, which is far less than my yearly totals for both 2018 and 2019, further evidence that these species have had a poor year. A positive is that Greenfinch seem to be doing well, with plenty caught in the spring, and a few juveniles appearing in the garden in the last few weeks.


 Chiffchaff (T. Shields)